SoberRecovery Glossary of Recovery Terms
The goals of adolescent treatment are the same as treatment for
the general, adult population—detox, therapy and education
that stop the addictive behavior and help the client grow up.
Because of the client’s ages, however, the approach is different.
Generally, teenagers are grouped by age; the most common groupings
are 13-17 and 18-mid-20s. Some adolescent treatment centers require
special evaluation for boys who are 13 or 14 to assess their ability
to benefit from the program.
Although outpatient adolescent treatment is available, there is
general agreement that a residential stay of at least 30 days
is preferable for many teens and some programs run nine months
or even longer. The theory is that adolescent drug abuse is often
at least in part a response to family dynamics. By removing the
teenager from the family, both the family and the adolescent have
an opportunity to heal. Most centers also provide help for the
family in the form of meetings and, sometimes, group therapy sessions.
Structured visits by family members are usually considered an
important part of the healing process.
Given the length of stay, the center also has to continue the
academic education of the client as well as help them deal with
their addiction. Most have arrangements with their state’s
department of education to assure the teenager will receive proper
Many adolescent treatment centers include vigorous outdoor activities,
including wilderness camping, working with horses and other livestock,
etc., as a way to help the teen learn self-reliance and mutual
support, as well as personal growth through adventure. There are,
however, programs based in urban areas.
The 12 Step model is used by many treatment centers and these
centers may include trips to outside 12 Step meetings.
Some adolescent treatment centers deal with addiction only, while
others will work with dual diagnosed teens and teens with health
and Drug Addiction Help and Information